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California Gull ~ Larus californicus
In 1848, Mormon pioneers fought a host of black locusts devouring their precious crops. A thousand miles from supplies, their struggling settlement near the Great Salt Lake seemed doomed. Then, suddenly, flocks of California Gulls descended on their fields and began eating the insects. These Gulls are common along the Pacific Coast in winter, and inland, along the prairies, in breeding season. Today, two gilded California Gulls flank a popular monument to their species in Salt Lake City.
Sego Lily ~ Calochortus nuttallii
The Sego Lily has been in favor since the days of the early Mormon pioneers. They found, from the Ute Indians, the bulblike roots of the plant were a satisfactory addition to their dwindling food supply. The Sego Lily grows from a short bulblike fleshy stem called a corm, which grows underground. The plant’s few bluish-green leaves are long and narrow. The flowers are about two inches across, and two or three of them may be borne on the stiff slender stem. Its lovely hues and markings have earned this lily the name mariposa, a Spanish word meaning butterfly.
From The Wildflowers of the 50 States U.S. stamps issued July 24, 1992: